Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Dancer and the Mirror

I had started learning Bharatnatyam at the age of 7. And, if I have to be honest about it, I hated it there. I was tired after school, and was siphoned off from the bus stop to a dance class in the interiors of qutub area, and I understood nothing.
The dance school had a huge hall with s stage and there were senior dance teachers who would be teaching various groups in various corners. If my memory served right, you started with one teacher where you would do warm ups (being the basics), and then go to the next teacher who would take your class - meaning who would ask you to do the items that you have learnt. And then finally, you would go to the teacher who would be teaching you your new set of steps in the item that you would be in the process of learning.
There was also a mandatory singing class, and a lot of complaints from my guru to my mother that, she is wasting her money on me by making me learn dance and that I can never learn. Maybe I was/ am beat deaf.
I remember taking a sabbatical from bharatnatiyam in Class 9, citing pressure to study and the class 10th boards. And I remember studying very hard and praying that I get good marks so that I can ask my mom to never send me back to dance class. It was in the months after my class 10 boards and before the results that I joined the summer workshop at The DanceWorks Studio by Asley Lobo. I was lost there too. But, somehow felt a little familiarity. After the summer workshop was over, and I started school again, I forgot about dancing. And it was in college that I joined the regular classes at the DanceWorks.
It was there, that I after months of training, finally looked at myself in the mirror, and not to set my hair, but to check my posture, and smile while enduring the pains of the pirouette or the extensions. It was there, where I met dance teachers, who always encouraged, and who were always positive. It was there where I learnt that to look in the mirror is an act of courage and confidence. We all look in the mirror do our make up and hair and see how we are dressed, but we never really look. The moment we would really look, into our own eyes, and our own soul, is when we realise the real pain inside our heart and the fact that we are always overlooking at things, all the time.
Those 4-5 years, I was at the peak of my confidence. I was a much happier person, and I looked superb. It was a time where I felt a part of something.

Right now, today, as I write this, I realise that I have not looked in my own eyes for a really really long time, and that I am at a point in my life where, I want answers, and I don't want to second guess any of my decisions. I want to be a much happier person, and I want to really make the most out of the life that I have. I don't want to think about how much would I have to cry in the night, because I laughed a lot during the day.  I want to be that dancer again, with her mirror, who was ready to conquer the world, come what may. 

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